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Health Promot Perspect. 2019 Oct 24;9(4):314-318. doi: 10.15171/hpp.2019.43. eCollection 2019.

Acute exercise and mindfulness meditation on learning and memory: randomized controlled intervention.

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Exercise & Memory Laboratory, Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677.


Background: The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the potential combined effects of acute exercise and mindfulness mediation on episodic memory. Methods: All data collection occurred in the authors' laboratory (January to May of 2019). In this three-arm, within-subject design, participants (N=20; Mage=21.6 years) completed three counterbalanced laboratory visits, including Exercise Only, Exercise + Meditation and Control. Learning and memory were assessed from a word-list task. A one-factor repeated-measures ANOVA was computed for two memory outcomes, including the learning outcome (average performance across the 6 trials) and the long-term memory recall (10-minute delay). Results: The exercise conditions had a greater learning effect when compared to the Control visit, Mdiff = 0.68 (95% CI: 0.10, 1.25), P = 0.02. The Exercise + Memory visit had better longterm memory when compared to Exercise Only, Mdiff = 0.95 (95% CI: 0.07, 1.83), P = 0.03. Conclusion: The present experiment provides suggestive evidence that acute exercise may enhance learning and, when coupling acute exercise prior to encoding with meditation during early consolidation, long-term memory may be enhanced.


Awareness; Cognition; Exercise; Meta-cognition

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